Dachshund Lifespan: 7 Tips to Help Dachshunds Live Longer

In this article, we not only tell you the average Dachshund lifespan, but we also review the health conditions they’re most prone to. We also offer expert tips on how to keep your Dachshund as healthy as possible so that your best friend always feels their best.

Jul 01, 2024·8 min read
Dachshund Lifespan: 7 Tips to Help Dachshunds Live Longer

Originally bred as a hunting dog in Germany, the Dachshund is more well-known today as a lovable family companion. This small dog is commonly referred to as a sausage dog due to their long body and short stature. Dachshunds are known for their affectionate nature, high energy, and big personalities. 

If you are thinking about adding a Dachshund to your family, or you already have a Dachshund in your care, you may be wondering what the average Dachshund lifespan is. Don’t worry — we’ll cover that information and provide tips to help your Dachshund live a long and healthy life by your side.

What Is the Average Dachshund Lifespan?

Like many other small dogs, this breed has a relatively long lifespan. On average, you can expect a Dachshund to live to between 12 and 16 years old. 

However, your dog’s exact lifespan depends on their genetics, any health issues, and their overall lifestyle. Giving your Doxie proper care and ensuring that their needs are consistently met will help encourage your dog to live the longest and happiest life possible.

Common Dachshund Health Issues

Virtually all dog breeds are susceptible to certain health complications based on their genetics and other problems they may have inherited. Dachshunds are no different, and the biggest issue for this dog breed is their tendency to develop back issues due to their long spines, short legs, and bowed stance. 

Common Dachshund health issues that you should keep an eye out for include:

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) – This is caused by a bulging or slipped disc in the Dachshund’s spine, and around 25 percent of Dachshunds develop this problem in their life. It causes trouble walking, pain, and even paralysis in serious cases.
  • Obesity – Dachshunds are prone to weight gain and obesity due to their short stature and susceptibility to back pain and mobility disorders, which can make exercise difficult. These pups also have sneaky tendencies, so they may try to steal snacks when you’re not looking. A proper diet and careful monitoring are necessary to keep your Doxie at a healthy weight.
  • Dental Disease – Because Dachshunds have small mouths they are more prone to periodontal disease than medium and large dogs. Their teeth can become crowded and difficult to clean, leading to tooth decay. Regular tooth brushing at home and professional teeth cleanings are important for Dachshunds. 
  • Luxating patella – This occurs when your Dachshund’s kneecap slips out of place. It can cause issues with walking in addition to joint pain.
  • Bloat – Also called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), this occurs when the stomach fills with gas or rotates on itself. While bloat is more common in giant-breed dogs, Dachshunds are more prone to bloating than some breeds due to their deep chests. This condition is life-threatening and needs emergency treatment.
  • Epilepsy – Epilepsy tends to be an inherited problem in Dachshunds, and any signs of seizures should be evaluated by a vet immediately.
  • Ear, eye, and nose infections – These occur due to the breed’s floppy ears and long nose. They are generally mild if treated quickly.

Taking your Dachshund for regular veterinary visits and monitoring their behavior throughout their lives helps you catch any of these health issues before they become too serious.

Tips to Help Your Dachshund Live Longer

Brown, senior dachshund with gray muzzle basking in the sun outside

The following tips can help your Dachshund live longer, as they encourage a healthy lifestyle, proper exercise, and preventative healthcare tactics. Engaging in all of these tips throughout your Dachshund’s life can help them stay feeling their best, encouraging a longer lifespan.

Choose a Dachshund Breeder Wisely

If you want a purebred Dachshund puppy, you may need to purchase one from a breeder. When selecting a Dachshund breeder, it’s important to look for one that takes the health and safety of the dogs seriously. Ethical breeders will generally let you meet the puppies, be extremely knowledgeable about the breed and the puppies, and let you tour the space where the dogs live.

Make sure that any breeder you choose to adopt from has all of the proper certifications and licenses necessary in your state. 

If you don’t want to buy directly from a Dachshund breeder, you may be able to find a purebred Dachshund or mixed Dachshund at a local rescue organization or shelter. There are also many breed-specific rescue groups that help adoptable Dachshunds find loving homes. Proper research and due diligence is also important when adopting from a shelter or rescue group to ensure the dog you’re getting is healthy. 

Keep Your Doxie at a Healthy Weight

When it comes to Dachshunds, this small dog doesn’t typically need too much exercise. However, just because their exercise needs are less does not mean that they shouldn’t receive regular walks and lots of outdoor playtime. Regular exercise with your Dachshund can help them stay active and lose weight. This can help prevent mobility issues as your dog ages and encourage your Dachshund to live a long life.

Provide a Proper Diet and Nutrition

Smaller dogs like Dachshunds generally need their meals to be broken up into two or three per day to help with their blood sugar regulation. Dachshunds also need a healthy diet where their calories are monitored, because they are prone to obesity and weight gain. 

Avoid feeding your Dachshund too many table scraps and don’t overdo it with treats. If you have concerns about feeding your Dachshund or your Dachshund’s nutritional needs, speak with your vet.

Maximize Mental Stimulation

Keeping your Dachshund’s mind active can help them feel their best and live a long, enjoyable life. Regular training sessions with your Dachshund can help them stay mentally engaged, and you can give your dog puzzle toys or treat toys where they have to work to gain a reward. 

Switching up your Doxie’s toys every now and again and letting them interact with dogs in a safe space outside of the home, such as a dog park, can give your Dachshund the mental stimulation they need to stay young at heart.

Don’t Neglect Dachshund Grooming

Dachshunds are not the highest maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming, but you should be brushing your dog regularly and giving them baths on a consistent basis. While grooming, you can check your dog over for signs of skin issues, allergies, or other health concerns that may indicate they need to see a vet. 

Keep Up With Dental Care

Dental care is an important component of caring for your Dachshund, and dental disease can affect the lifespan of your dog. Keeping your Dachshund’s teeth clean with at-home brushing can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup — the main contributors of dental disease. Make sure you take your Doxie to the vet on a regular basis so your veterinarian can catch signs of dental disease early. 

Stay on Top of Preventative Care

Preventative healthcare is a lifelong commitment that can encourage your Dachshund to live a long and healthy life. As a part of their preventative care plan, you should take your Doxie to see the vet at least once per year until they reach senior age, when they should visit the vet twice a year. Keep your Dachshund up-to-date on recommended vaccinations and parasite preventatives. 

As your Dachshund ages, you can add adaptive items into your home such as dog ramps, orthopedic beds, and carpeting to prevent slipping. This may help with potential back and joint issues.

Tailoring care to your Dachshund is one of the best ways to encourage them to live a long life as part of your family. 

When Should I Take My Dachshund to the Vet?

While you should be taking your Dachshund to the vet regularly for annual checkups, there are a few warning signs to look out for that can indicate your Dachshund needs to go to an emergency vet immediately. Knowing these signs can help encourage your dog to live a long life, as you may be able to catch serious health problems before they become life-threatening.

Serious health symptoms that indicate your Dachshund may need to visit a vet immediately include:

  • Lethargy
  • Sudden confusion or disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Inability to walk, limping, or obvious signs of pain with movement
  • Distended abdomen
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive heaving

If you notice any of these symptoms and your local vet is not available, make an appointment or walk in at your nearest emergency vet to ensure your Dachshund is seen as soon as possible.

Encourage a Long Life for Your Dachshund

Dachshunds are distinctive and lovable pups with friendly personalities. Your Dachshund is no doubt one of the best parts of your life, and providing your dog with proper care — including timely vet visits, proper dental hygiene, and mobility support — are some of the best ways to keep your dog living a long and happy life by your side.

Deidre GrievesD

Deidre Grieves

Deidre Grieves is a pet-industry writer and editor with over 15 years of experience working for brands including petMD, Chewy, and Great Pet Care. She’s currently the Director of SEO at PetLab Co. When not creating content about pets, she enjoys spending family time with her husband, two human babies, and Goldendoodle named Clementine.

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
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